Q&A with Delmarva Broadcasting Company

Kristin Lang-Miller, media consultant at Delmarva Broadcasting Company has been with company for over 18 years. A family-owned company with offices in the Milford, Wilmington, and Havre De Grace, MD, they offer a range of digital and advertising solutions. We spoke with Kristin to learn more about the history of Delmarva Broadcasting Company, as well as some of the newest services offered.

Q: Tell me a little about Delmarva Broadcasting Company (DBC).

A: We started streaming our radio stations online about 20 years ago, so we were an early adaptor of that; with our websites, and streaming. But about ten years ago we noticed a need amongst our clients for a full-service digital provider with local connections. Now we are able offer website design, SEO  services, targeted advertising and social media management.

Q: How long has Delmarva Broadcasting Company had a digital division? 

A: We started streaming our radio stations online about 20 years ago, so we were an early adaptor of that; with our websites, and streaming. But about ten years ago we noticed a need amongst our clients for a full-service digital provider with local connections. Now we are able offer website design, SEO services, targeted advertising and social media management.

Q: What is your role, and what do you do on a daily basis?

A: I am a Media Consultant. So on a daily basis, I work with my current customers on new ideas for their business, on radio commercials, and digital strategies. Another part of my job is trying to find new business. I find new customers by cold-calling when I see a new business open up or when they call into the radio station to get more information. But now that I’ve been working with Delmarva Broadcasting for eighteen and half years, a lot of my business comes from referrals from other clients I work with.

What makes us unique here at the beach is that a lot of businesses try to reach tourists, which can be difficult, but with fun radio stations that are always accessible and our digital products we are able to offer solutions for reaching tourists. We have created campaigns for Delaware businesses trying to reach people in states as far as California, Kentucky and Indiana. We’ve even done a few in Europe!

Q: You said you’ve been with DBC for 18.5 years. How did you get into the job and how has your position evolved throughout your tenure? 

A: I started in November of 2000. I graduated from Shippensburg University and moved to the beach for the summer with two friends from college, and all three of us ending up staying. It’s been a sales position since I started, but when I started we had two radio stations, now we have five, and we didn’t really have the digital side of it. When I first started, my cold-calling was looking in the yellow pages, and now we don’t even use that anymore. So things have changed, but overall the position has pretty much stayed the same.

Q: You are now offering video marketing services. Can you talk a little bit about that?

A: We can come to a business and do the video shoot, and then our team takes the footage back and edits it based on the client’s request. For example, yesterday we worked with a fairly large company doing a video shoot and we were there for about 4 hours. With that footage, we will produce multiple videos at whatever length the business needs. People use them for their websites, Facebook, pre-roll, display advertising, a TV commercial – whatever they may need. We can produce it in any length that they want. The final product is for the business to keep – they can use it and distribute however they would like. But our goal is to then also work with them on strategic placement and ways to get the video in front of potential customers.

Q: So once you have the finished video, in all of its different lengths, where do you typically place and market that? 

A: Most of the digital products that we offer have a video component that can be added if the client has the right content. We have options associated with our radio station audience such as the Premium Streaming Sponsorship. When someone listens to one of our radio stations online, the client’s video or audio message plays prior to the radio station starting to play. We can also use it for targeted advertising as pre-roll, which would be an ad you see before watching a video online. For example, if you were to go somewhere like espn.com to watch a sports clip you’ll see an ad before the video starts, and that is an example of a prime location of where a video could play.

We also handle social media advertising for clients and will do things as simple as running the video as a targeted Facebook ad for them. A lot of people think that is a really easy thing to do on their own, but it actually gets kind of complicated to run an ad on Facebook because there are so many rules. Our digital specialist, Melissa, is in Facebook Ads Manager every day setting up and optimizing campaigns for customers, so she’s well-versed in the rules of Facebook Ads and also has access to Facebook resources (such as a helpline) that small business don’t necessarily have access to on their own.

We also offer social media management where we are actually setting up the posts for clients about 3 times per week. Some people like to keep Social Media in-house and have someone in the office doing the regular posting – which is great, that’s really the best way, but a lot of businesses just don’t have the time do it. It is so important to keep up a social media presence, so that’s why we offer that service. This is one of our most common conversations with clients because almost everyone interacts with social media on a daily basis.

Q: Of all the services you offer, which is the most popular among your clients?

A: On-air Radio advertising is usually the first conversation we have with potential clients and then I would say our geo-fencing and targeted display advertising comes 2nd. We offer high quality production and placement, as well as a local contact. What we saw with our clients, is that they were sold these products from other people, and then would just have a 1-800 number and never be able to get in touch with anyone. That is where we differentiate – we offer a local contact. We are always (sometimes too frequently) answering the phones and emails at all times of day, but our quality of customer service really differentiates us from just any site.

Q: What kind of trends do you see in the industry?

A: Our digital division is definitely growing, but the radio is still a very strong advertising option. People always ask me “is radio still alive? Do people still listen to radio?”; and my answer is yes. I am 100% confident that if you have the right message and the proper schedule, you will see results with radio advertising. We held an event this past weekend, and the only place we prompted it was on the radio. We had about 800 people at the event. Definitely digital is growing, but radio still reaches 94% of Americans every week. And I feel that is even more important in a small local community where people want to have a finger on the pulse of the community and know what is going on around them. Radio has that power of being able to be right there all the time – it is mobile. You can take it anywhere, and now it is getting easier and easier for people to listen anywhere on their phone. We have people that come here for vacation and get hooked on our stations and then listen online when they are back home. We do a cruise every year with the radio stations, and we have people who come from all over to join us, but they have been here and listened to the radio stations and have a connection with the DJ’s.

Q: You said you have a cruise every year. What is that?

A: One on-air personality from each of our stations will go on a cruise as a group and they’ll invite their listeners to go. Usually we have around 100 listeners that go on the cruise, and most come back year after year. It is just another way to stay in touch with the listeners and the community – people want to have that connection. We also do a radio-thon every year for Nemours A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital, with our whole company, not just the central Delaware stations. We have raised close to two-million dollars for the hospital; and that is from our listeners and clients who are calling and making the donations.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Chamber member?

A: Participating in the events that are held in the area and the connections that I have been able to make with different local businesses owners, as well as visitors to the area.